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overtime on non-union jobs starts when and at what rate (1.5X, 2X)?


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27 replies to this topic

#1
PCMsoundie

PCMsoundie
  • LocationNew York, NY
Hey guys I wanted to ask what are the norms for non-union shoots for when overtime starts?

For 1099 jobs that are invoiced for services & equipment rental:
I've been freelancing for over 8 years and usually it's a 10 hour day including meal break.
after 10 hours 1.5X overtime. Usually until the end of the shoot which could go up to 16 or 18 hours.

Now I did an ESPN job about 4 years ago (2 person docu. style + 1 producer on-location) and the cameraman told me 1.5X OT after 10 hours. 2X OT after 12 hours. I billed for it and no problem.
Only a few other clients had me bill for 2X after 12 hours over the years.

Like I've read here on JWSound 'overtime is not meant to make us money but as a penalty to dissuade producers from the crew having long working hours...'

What are your experiences with 2X OT after 12 hours on non-union non-timecard/payroll shoots? Is there a lot of pushback from production companies or national/regional crewing companies for 2X OT after a certain # of hours? Are there any typical OT 1.5, 2X after # of hours for certain networks and cable networks? Again I'm talking without payroll timecard as some jobs are billed.

Has anyone had any experience with 3X (or as one JWSound member wrote $100./hour) after certain # hours in a deal memo negotiated upfront or invoiced for after a ridiculously long day like a music video? How have producers reacted to this type of language in a deal memo from the Sound Dept.?

I'm not even talking about meal penalties at all, just the OT and the rate.
-----
B Miklas
NYC sound mixer

#2
Christopher Mills

Christopher Mills
I charge 1.5x after 10 hours on production to non-union shows, 2x after 12 hours.
never had to charge 3x time to a non-union show.

Best rate I ever got prior to joining the IA was $1200 for being a film runner on a Christmas Sunday morning (3 hours portal to portal)
early 90s on a tv show..

#3
Rich Van Dyke

Rich Van Dyke
  • LocationLos Angeles, CA
In the early 1990's I worked on a non-union film with the great Donald Klune, Jr., his Father was the production manager on "Gone With the Wind." I was interviewing for a non-union television movie, and as we began to get into the details of the agreement, overtime came up. Don had a thick book on his desk entitled, "The Rules of Non-Union Film Production," as we were discussing the overtime rates Don would not budge from no double time rates for overtime, he didn't think we'd ever work that long and I like to just have everything discussed and settled prior to starting production.

Don told me, "There's no double time for overtime on non-union shows......" I countered with, "Everything is subject to negotiation." He said, "Let's check the rule book for the answer...." He tossed me the book and said look it up, as I opened the book every page was blank. Don certainly had a sense of humor about himself, but the reality is non-union is just that non-union with no collective bargaining agreement or power.

My point being, you should try to negotiate everything up front, but you should know that the only rules that govern non-union filming are the state labor laws in which the state you are employed in, and many of those don't relate to the film industry.

On some of the lower union tier jobs there is double time after 14 and 16 hours, depending on the contract. I would always try to state that you will be paid double time after the 16th hour of any single days work. The production will tell you, "We're never going to work that late!" and you should tell them, "Well then, since we're never going to work it, you won't mind if I include that language in my deal memo."

Finally, while productions like to hold you to your deal memo, a deal memo is not a binding contract, and may not hold up in a court of law. Part of it is the language of "memo" being in there, not "contract."

So good luck, this is about your ability to negotiate your rates, as long as you are working non-union, on a union show rates for labor are set forth by the union and can be negotiated up but never down, as there is a "minimum" wage rate.

I would venture a guess to say that the ESPN job had a producer who might have been used to union crews and was not surprised by your double time on your invoice.

Cheeers,

Rich Van Dyke
The more knowledge you gain...The more you realize how little you know.

Richard Van Dyke, CAS

#4
Tom Visser

Tom Visser
  • LocationHonolulu, HI
I would take a blank page as an invitation to start writing a rule.

#5
Rich Van Dyke

Rich Van Dyke
  • LocationLos Angeles, CA
The point being, there are no rules governing non-union productions, never have been and never will be.

That's why on a non-union show you should be very deliberate in your negotiations.

RVD
The more knowledge you gain...The more you realize how little you know.

Richard Van Dyke, CAS

#6
jacefivesound

jacefivesound
  • LocationBoston, MA

The point being, there are no rules governing non-union productions, never have been and never will be.


There are far fewer labor laws in this country than people tend to believe. Unions (or the threat of them) will protect you more than any laws can, especially in this industry.
Jason Fyrberg

#7
studiomprd

studiomprd
  • LocationHollywood CA
" "Well then, since we're never going to work it, you won't mind if I include that language in my deal memo." "B
INGO... we have a winner! exactly! ::)

" Unions (or the threat of them) will protect you more than any laws can, especially in this industry. "
well, generally... I don't think so! :mellow:

" There are far fewer labor laws in this country than people tend to believe. "
I disagree on this, also... there are some good basic ones in every state, And they include OT, and breaks for meals and rest . OH, yeah, and a real basic one that requires being paid promptly!
SENATOR Mike Michaels, c.a.s.
Studio M Productions

#8
geordi

geordi
  • LocationSavannah Based, have gear, will travel!
Senator... You can have ALL the labor laws you want on the books, both Federal and State. Getting them ENFORCED is entirely another matter.

I am currently approaching 20 months since filing a dispute with the Wage and Hour division (the Govt department that handles wage violations) and thus far... Jack Squat has happened. The employer has continued on with another sucker in the position I held, most likely requiring the same 90-100 hour weeks (yep, 7 days most of the time) that I was required.... And paying NOT ONE PENNY of OT. Chances are, that poor slob is also only getting 30k for that slavery.

Is this immoral? Hell yes. Is it illegal, as they are claiming "exempt employee status" while in the same breath requiring specific hours of the employee (which automatically invalidates the exemption)? Again, yes. Are they being penalized AT ALL for this abuse?

Nope!

No unions are present at this employer (that I was aware of, but I seriously doubt they would hire ANYONE associated with one) and behold the results - Abuses galore. Laws are USELESS if nobody is there to enforce them. Unions act in this regard, which is exactly WHY they are hated by those in power. I made my affiliation with IA clear when I was being interviewed for this place... I'm surprised they hired me if they knew what IATSE is, or detected any of my left-leaning beliefs. Yea, this place is devoutly right-wing. They make a BIG show of being political, yet hiding behind protected tax status as a "church" too, all the while treating their employees like shit.

Who is this wonderful employer that asks so much and returns so little of their employees? Liberty University. Owned in whole by Jerry Fallwell / Thomas Road Baptist Church of Lynchburg, Virginia.

The ONLY protection we have is ourselves, or our union. The laws and the government will not protect you from those in power.
I can't spell ADR

Jim H
Gator Audio, Savannah-based production sound that doesn't bite.
http://www.gatoraudio.com

#9
studiomprd

studiomprd
  • LocationHollywood CA
" Unions act in this regard, "
unions act to negotiate contracts, and then to enforce the contracts.

" I made my affiliation with IA clear when I was being interviewed for this place... I'm surprised they hired me "
Guess they didn't care, and you took the gig...
" this place is devoutly right-wing. "
so ??
Al Gore's network was about the same...
SENATOR Mike Michaels, c.a.s.
Studio M Productions

#10
John Blankenship

John Blankenship
  • LocationIndianapolis

" Unions act in this regard, "

unions act to negotiate contracts, and then to enforce the contracts.


Only in a perfect world. Of course, in a perfect world we woudn't need unions -- kind of a catch 22.

I don't currently belong to a union, but when I was performing regularly I was a member of AFofM. At least in my local jurisdiction, they existed solely to collect dues from their members. Other than that, they furnised contract forms but had no clout, nor any real interest, in enforcement. So, they didn't do much of anything for the members but were certainly diligent about collecting dues.

So, my personal opinion is: A union should exist for the benefit of the members, not for the good of the union.
John B., CAS

#11
RPSharman

RPSharman
  • LocationLos Angeles
Regarding the OP...

On narrative stuff, I have given a rate of $X/12hr and $2X/hr afterwards.

On non-narrative, $X/hr for 10, $X.5/hr 10-12, $2X/hr for 12+

I have been told "everyone is on a flat 12" or "flat 14" (for which I recalculate rate), but I ALWAYS say it's double time after that. I have never been told "no". Same argument - Them..."We won't work more than that many hours." - Me..."So it's not a problem to agree to it then."

Ironically, my union TV show is 2X after 14hrs, as are all features under low budget agreement.

Robert



#12
FSBELLA

FSBELLA
  • LocationBurbank, CA.
@ RVD- I think in the 90's when I was a 1st & upm on non union films we had those flat rates - even for the prod staff, no overtime.
although when we did work long hours I convinced the man with the " blank book on non union rules" to give a bump in crew rates, or he would loose his crew.
of course I did not get the bump because he blamed me for taking to long. (its always the 1st AD's fault- that was my reply from the blank book man.

but yes sir you are completely correct- negotiate up front, even on flats ( if they still exist- do they? )

Cheers brother.
"When it Sounds Good, It Looks Better"

#13
studiomprd

studiomprd
  • LocationHollywood CA
under typical the labor laws (federal and state) OT (1.5x) begins after 8 hours. Collective bargianing agreements may supercede this (as IA contracts do) and other provisions for example:there are no meal penalties outside of union agreements, and meal breaks are manditory!
SENATOR Mike Michaels, c.a.s.
Studio M Productions

#14
jacefivesound

jacefivesound
  • LocationBoston, MA
How about those of us who have to work more and more (albeit illegal in many many cases) as independent contractors who invoice for our work? The 'laws' get blurrier and blurrier...
Jason Fyrberg

#15
Rich Van Dyke

Rich Van Dyke
  • LocationLos Angeles, CA
First to Jim Hulse, yours is a most unfortunate story filled with anger and bitterness, rightfully so. If labor laws do exist, or as you put it "are on the books," then it's a matter of finding a lawyer that will represent you to have those laws enforced. I trust that you have documentation, ie. time cards or check stubs, that denote the abusive hours that you were working. Without proof such as documentation, your case becomes one of a bitter employee angry at a former employer.

It's been a while since I've worked on anything non-union, but it was my last experience that I found most productions tried to follow rules like meals and breaks, but did work a lot of hours per day. What I think might help you out, is to take some time to create for yourself a little "rate book" within it have rates for straight time and time and a half and double time. Now when you go to negotiate you'll already have an idea of what you're going to ask for, and how much you want to ask for. Remember, you can't negotiate up, but starting high and letting the producer/production manager talk you down makes them feel like they did their job.

To Frank, yes flat rates suck!!! When music videos first were being made they were usually produced by commercial production houses and were done a flat fee, at that time late 70's early 80's the rate was $300.00 USD, and you worked a twenty four hour day. There was equipment rental as well, and you got to hang out with rock stars!!! I was young and enjoyed it

Very interesting what's happening in Wisconsin and the people now trying to recall the Governor for his attack on collective bargaining. Also, pertaining to our business, a very interesting development SAG and AFTRA the two main unions for on-air talent have merged to form one powerful guild that will represent all actors.

Good Luck Jim,

Rich Van Dyke
The more knowledge you gain...The more you realize how little you know.

Richard Van Dyke, CAS

#16
studiomprd

studiomprd
  • LocationHollywood CA
" SAG and AFTRA the two main unions for on-air talent have merged to form one powerful guild that will represent all actors. "
They are about to announce (at the SAG awards) that there is an agreement that will be put to the memberships of both unions (in March) to merge and form 'SAG-AFTRA United', representing a pretty broad swath of performers.
SENATOR Mike Michaels, c.a.s.
Studio M Productions

#17
justanross

justanross
  • LocationCalgary Alberta Canada
You probably saw my post about the 100 bucks an hour after ten. I charge this cause I hate working overtime. My time with my family is more valuable then any dollar amount.

But most people charge 1.5x after 10, double after twelve and triple after sixteen.
www.facebook.com/FierceSound Twitter: @FierceSound

#18
geordi

geordi
  • LocationSavannah Based, have gear, will travel!
Rich, thanks for the thoughts. Not so much bitterness, as I did accept the job and elected to remain even as long as I did (after discovering what they REALLY wanted for hours) out of a sense of duty to the students. I wasn't going to stay longer beyond the end of the Spring semester, and I didn't. I'm more disappointed that an organization that I thought shared my faith and beliefs would act in this way. "WWJD" seems to be only something they ask, rather than answer.

I know all about the negotiation tactic of aiming high and negotiating down, I'm an avid watcher of the show Pawn Stars. It amazes me how many people go in there with an idea in their head and fold or start lower so quickly. The trick of course is knowing what is within the ballpark for that first number. The people that I've been dealing with most recently don't seem to know that haggling is acceptable, which is kinda sad. Negotiation is part of the fun.

I hadn't heard about the SAG merger, but I'm hopeful that it will help all of us, since obviously IA hasn't pushed for work hour limits in a long time, where SAG does seem to be fairly planted on the 12/12 concept for their people. Maybe I'm just a dreamer.
I can't spell ADR

Jim H
Gator Audio, Savannah-based production sound that doesn't bite.
http://www.gatoraudio.com

#19
FSBELLA

FSBELLA
  • LocationBurbank, CA.

First to Jim Hulse, yours is a most unfortunate story filled with anger and bitterness, rightfully so. If labor laws do exist, or as you put it "are on the books," then it's a matter of finding a lawyer that will represent you to have those laws enforced. I trust that you have documentation, ie. time cards or check stubs, that denote the abusive hours that you were working. Without proof such as documentation, your case becomes one of a bitter employee angry at a former employer.

It's been a while since I've worked on anything non-union, but it was my last experience that I found most productions tried to follow rules like meals and breaks, but did work a lot of hours per day. What I think might help you out, is to take some time to create for yourself a little "rate book" within it have rates for straight time and time and a half and double time. Now when you go to negotiate you'll already have an idea of what you're going to ask for, and how much you want to ask for. Remember, you can't negotiate up, but starting high and letting the producer/production manager talk you down makes them feel like they did their job.

To Frank, yes flat rates suck!!! When music videos first were being made they were usually produced by commercial production houses and were done a flat fee, at that time late 70's early 80's the rate was $300.00 USD, and you worked a twenty four hour day. There was equipment rental as well, and you got to hang out with rock stars!!! I was young and enjoyed it

Very interesting what's happening in Wisconsin and the people now trying to recall the Governor for his attack on collective bargaining. Also, pertaining to our business, a very interesting development SAG and AFTRA the two main unions for on-air talent have merged to form one powerful guild that will represent all actors.

Good Luck Jim,

Rich Van Dyke


RVD-
Funny thing here is , I started as a PA on music videos. we would easily work 24 to 28 hours on shoots.
incld. p-up & returns.
my cousin and I would work in shifts like this for about a year for this 1 particular production co.
"When it Sounds Good, It Looks Better"

#20
Jeff Babb

Jeff Babb
  • LocationWilmington, NC
If the project is a narrative from an out of town low-budget production...

x/10
1.5x/10-12
2x/12-14

Brick wall at 14.

I refuse to not see my kids when I'm working in town.

When I'm out of town. I'm happy to work as much OT as they want as long as I get a good night's sleep.
Jeff Babb
Life, Liberty, Happiness
Wilmington, NC
www.logwagon.com

Viva la Runaway Productions!

Favorite Quote: Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?

#21
Rich Van Dyke

Rich Van Dyke
  • LocationLos Angeles, CA
Reading Jeff's post I was surprised to see that he includes a "brick wall @ 14 (hours)." Nothing wrong with including that, as long as you're supported by the other departments in regard to your not working past 14 hours per day. This could be a deal breaker if you're the only crew member who has negotiated for this, the crew is booked for 16 hours and you're leaving at 14 might cause a problem, or keep the producer from hiring you.

Another thing that came to mind was to include "turnaround time," this is the time off each day between wrap and your set call the next day. Director's of Photography and their camera operators have the longest turnaround of crew members, 10 hours, and the rest of the crew is 9 hours. Over a weekend your should have 57 hours off, two days at 24 hours and your turnaround of 9 hours, this can and usually will be encroached by non-union shows, so good to negotiate for it in advance.

Good Luck,

Rich Van Dyke
The more knowledge you gain...The more you realize how little you know.

Richard Van Dyke, CAS

#22
RPSharman

RPSharman
  • LocationLos Angeles
I don't believe weekend turnaround exists any longer on IA contract.

9 hour turnaround only exists on basic agreement when finishing or starting on stage. Otherwise it's 10. All lower budget agreements have 10-hour turnaround. Operators and DP on my agreement are also 10 hours, but usually are 11 as RVD describes.

Actors still require 12, saving us who have small casts. Those with big casts suffer from "staggering" the cast to give crew a short turnaround. The AFTRA contract our actors are on "buy out" forced calls, so we could have short turnaround every day. Thankfully we don't.

#23
Olle Sjostrom

Olle Sjostrom
  • LocationStockholm, Sweden
We have 11 hour turnaround, called sleep time, and that's for EVERY job in the country, ever. By law

(null)
http://www.tjockishjartafilm.se

#24
taylormadeaudio

taylormadeaudio
  • LocationCoeur d'Alene, ID.
(Napolean Dynamite voice:)

Lucky!

~tt
I feel more like I did when I first got here than I do now

http://www.taylormadeaudio.com
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1286483/

"in the beginning, God SAID,'Let there be light'"

#25
Rich Van Dyke

Rich Van Dyke
  • LocationLos Angeles, CA
I made mention of turnaround here after reading Jeff Babb's post about "getting a good night's sleep..." This topic is about "non-union" not about what the union offers or doesn't. However, since the union has an established set of rules, it is a good place to start as there are no rules for non-union.

The point I was trying to make was that you should consider every aspect of your day when negotiating, meal breaks, overtime, turnaround, days off, etc.

Cheers,

Rich Van Dyke
The more knowledge you gain...The more you realize how little you know.

Richard Van Dyke, CAS

#26
RPSharman

RPSharman
  • LocationLos Angeles
That's what I meant too. Union contracts are often a good guideline, although they often offer poorer conditions than actual labor laws, which should be adhered to on non-union productions.

#27
studiomprd

studiomprd
  • LocationHollywood CA
...and of course nothing applies when working as an independent contractor, including flat fee's, or unpaid crew.
SENATOR Mike Michaels, c.a.s.
Studio M Productions

#28
johnpaul215

johnpaul215
  • LocationPhiladelphia - PA - USA
On non-union jobs we usually hold out for 10 hour turnaround. Our weekend is usually 24 hours + the 10 turnaround. Those 2 day weekends evaporate when you realize your last day of the week had a 16:00 call and your next day on has an 06:00 call.
Like people said, the actor turnaround can be what saves us.

OT on indie films is usually after 12 hours. 1.5x or 2x depends on the job. There should also be a (2nd meal) break at 12 hours.

Fortunately enough people have been doing this long enough to know to put it in their deal memo.

johnpaul golaski - Philadelphia PA USA - www.JOHNPAUL215.com
FCC LP Call Sign WQQM443





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